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Louis Zamperini's son fills in for him as Rose Parade Grand Marshal




American war hero and Olympian Louis Zamperini (center) was chosen as the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Tournament of Roses in May of 2014. Zamperini speaks here with his son Luke Zamperini (R) and Tournament of Roses President Richard L. Chinen (L).
American war hero and Olympian Louis Zamperini (center) was chosen as the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Tournament of Roses in May of 2014. Zamperini speaks here with his son Luke Zamperini (R) and Tournament of Roses President Richard L. Chinen (L).
Pasadena Tournament of Roses

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The story of Louis Zamperini is nothing short of extraordinary. The "Torrance Tornado" was an Olympian, a World War II hero and a prisoner of war survivor.

His story is now legend— told in the film "Unbroken" and Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book of the same name. But to his son Luke, Louis Zamperni was more than a legend. He was the "world's greatest dad." 

Luke Zamperini says his father was elated when he was named Grand Marshal for the 2015 Rose Parade back in May.

Now that Louis is no longer here to fulfill his duty (he passed away this July), Luke and his sister Cynthia will fill in for him.

"The family is very honored to be able to take his place," Zamperini says. "We're like the understudies for the Grand Marshal."

As he rides along the parade route, Zamperini says he'll honor his father by wearing his watch and ring. 

"I'm wearing as much 'Louis bling' as I can to bring as much of him to the parade as possible."